In the beginning was the word and the word was absolute, the word was final. Some who heard the word were shamed by its harshness and covered their ears when it was uttered; others embraced the word and took it to their hearts. They engraved the word onto tablets of stone and issued the proclamation that those who followed it were blessed and those who did not were damned.
Those who followed the word said that they drew strength from its rugged complexion. Those who rejected the word said that it was coercive and lacked nuance or true meaning. The followers of the word said that those who did not prostrate themselves before it were heretics and ought to be stoned. They said that the word had given their lives a purpose that no heretic could ever understand. Those who disagreed argued that it was man who gave meaning to words and that the true believers had missed the point of words entirely. The word had caused a schism amongst the people and down the centuries many wars were fought over its veracity.
In the end there were no people left to argue the difference – all had been swept away by the conflict that the word had brought and, as many had predicted, the word simply vanished because there were no ears left to hear it and there was no-one left to fight over it. The word had been a blessing and it had been a curse. If there was a lesson to be learned it surely had to be not to place so much importance on any given word, because words are merely our tools and should never be our masters.